Statutes Requiring an Overt Act

the royal courts of justice

o       An overt act manifests that the conspiracy is at work and is neither a project still resting solely in mind nor a fully completed operation no longer in existence
o       Chain v. Wheel Conspiracies
§        Totally unhelpful
§        Apply the following two part test (applied to each individual)
·        1- Ask whether there is knowledge of the existence of the others, but not necessarily their precise identities
·        2- Belief that there is a community of interest beyond the direct interaction
§        “It taxes credulity” – it is not believable that all of these things would have happened without the existence of an agreement
o       Agreement with a Member of a Protected Class
§        If only two parties originally charged with conspiracy and one has a valid immunity defense, then the conspiracy charge must be dismissed as well because of the plurality rule
o       WHARTON’S RULE – If a substantive crime is defined so as to necessarily to requires two or more people, then the prosecution must be brought for the substantive offense, and not for the conspiracy
§        The law already factors in the danger that comes from group criminality
·        Adultery, Incest, Bigamy, Bribery, Dueling
§        If you have more than the minimum number required, then you’re outside of Wharton’s rule
·        Hypo – A and B want to commit adultery and C provides a room…
o       Wharton’s Rule does not apply
o       Pinkerton can apply
o       Unilateral Conspiracy
§        If a person agrees with another….
·        You still have the theoretical danger of group criminality, b/c the person believes there is group support
o       In a bilateral jurisdiction, you cannot commit the crime of conspiracy alone
§        If A enters into an agreement with B, but B is faking = NO CRIME
§        If A enters into an agreement with B, but B is an undercover cop = NO CRIME
§        If A enters into an agreement with B, but B does not have the mental capacity to agree = NO CRIME

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